best digital marketing tools and resources 2017 updated

As we head into the new year, it’s important to take a look back at the past in order to prepare for the future. If your New Year’s resolution for your business is to get more leads and gain exposure, VitalStorm can help you self-reflect and improve. Contact us to discuss how you can increase sales and brand awareness for the new year.

Luckily, there are a lot of solutions available… if you’re willing to look. Here are some of the best digital marketing tools and resources to consider for a very successful 2017. We’ve broken the tools and resources into different “departments” for easier reference. Check back often as we will be updating this list throughout the year!

Graphic Design

Canva – “Easily create beautiful designs + documents. Use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics

Tailor Brands – “Logo Design Made Simple. Try it for Free.”

Piktochart – “Easy-to-use infographic maker. Take your visual communication to the next level, without hiring a professional designer.” – “Create and share visual ideas 1000s of Reporting, Timeline, Resume and
Process templates to choose from.”

Bannersnack – “Professional banner creation app for designers & marketers. You can create static, animated HTML5 and interactive banner ads smart and easy.” – “Visualize your resume in one click. Create your infographic resume for free.”

Venngage – “Make infographics for free. Everything you need to create and publish infographics is right here.”

Visme – “Create amazing presentation, infographics & other engaging content.”

Infogram – “Make beautiful charts & infographics. The easiest way to design and share interactive data visualizations. All within minutes.” – “Connecting people through creativity. Create, share and discover video & photo collections in beautiful ways”

Snappa – “Whip up graphics for social media, ads, blogs, and more without Photoshop or graphic designers.”

Slideshare – “Share what you know and love through presentations, infographics, documents and more.”

Free Images – “Beautiful free stock photos. Hundreds of high resolution images added weekly.”

Pixabay – “Free high quality images. Over 830,000 free stock photos, vectors and art illustrations.”

Unsplash – “Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos.”

Google Advanced Image Search – “Find images you are free to use yourself.”

Flickr – “Join the Flickr community, home to 13 billion photos, 120 million people, and 2 million groups.”

picjumbo – “Free stock photo site created by designer & photographer Viktor Hanacek in 2013.”

Gratisography – “Free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects.”

Morguefile – “Free images for creatives, by creatives. A post production file, over 350,000 free stock photos for commercial use.”

Free Images – “Source for thousands of free stock images for everyday use.”

New Old Stock – “Vintage photos from the public archives. Free of known copyright restrictions.”

Picography – “Free images to use however you like.”

Public Domain Archive – “New 100% Free Stock Photos, all public domain images!”

Paid Images 

Getty Images – “The world’s most powerful imagery. Flexible options for every budget. Custom solutions for every need.”

iStock – “Discover royalty-free images, illustrations and videos that will make you stand out.”

Bigstock – “Find millions of awesome royalty-free stock photos and vectors. Affordable high-res stock photography.”

Adobe Stock – “Find the perfect asset for your next creative project. Search high-quality images, graphics and videos.”


Powtoon – “Create animated videos & Presentations. It’s FREE and it’s awesome.”

Wideo – “Create videos easily for your marketing campaigns.”

If you can swing it, the Adobe Suite (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, and Acrobat) is the industry standard.


Facebook Pixel – “The new Facebook pixel makes conversion tracking, optimization and remarketing easier than ever. Use the new pixel with standard events and you’ll be able to access conversion tracking, optimization, and remarketing.”

Use Websta to help you find hashtags.


Tweetreach – “Monitor social posts across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Get comprehensive, real-time analytics on reach, performance and engagement, and continuously analyze all posts about the topics you care about, displaying your results in eye-catching charts and digestible reports.” – “Narrow works by interacting with Twitter users that are talking about subjects relevant to the audience you want to attract.”

Tweriod – “Tweriod gives you the best times to tweet. We analyse both your tweets and your followers’ tweets. So you can start tweeting when it makes most sense to reach others.”

Tweepi – “Over 1,500,000 people trust Tweepi to engage users, get Twitter followers and grow their brands with our Twitter Tools.”

TweetDeck – “TweetDeck gives the Twitter experience more flexibility by letting you view multiple timelines in one easy interface.”

Narrow – “Build a Real Twitter Following.”

Content Curation

Google Alerts – “Monitor the web for interesting new content.” – “Hand-curated content suggestions for social media.” – “Collect great content to share. And engage with your audience wherever they are.”

Feedly – “The content you need to accelerate your research, marketing, and sales.”

Klout – “The best way to have an impact online is to create and share great content. Klout helps you do exactly that.”

Ruzzit – “RuzzIt is a social viral filter.”

ReactionGifs – “The best GIF reactions for making your point – these GIFs go anywhere and are tagged to easily find just the right one.”

Giphy – “Find everything from funny GIFs, reaction GIFs, unique GIFs and more.”

Qzzr – “Create, embed, and share your own quizzes. Drive social traffic. Generate leads.” – Convert any Youtube video into a GIF by adding “gif” before the youtube URL.

Gif anything in seconds here:

Social Media Management

Hootsuite – “Manage all your social media marketing in one place. From finding prospects to serving customers, Hootsuite helps you do more with your social media marketing.”

Buffergram – “BUFFERGRAM™ is a professional social media scheduling and publishing service. Upload your photos right here on the web, schedule a time—we do the rest.”

Raven Tools – “Online Marketing Platform for SEO, Social and Search Engine Marketing.”

AgoraPulse – “Manage all social media messages in one place. Schedule and publish content. Get stunning reports.”

Buffer – “A better way to share on social media. Social media management for marketers and agencies.”

SocialPilot – “Social media scheduling & marketing tool for agencies & social media professionals.”


Mailshake – “A simple solution for cold emails. Promote content, build relationships, and generate leads. All you need is a Google account.”

Thrive Leads – “Build your mailing list faster than ever before!”

Mandrill – “Mandrill became a paid MailChimp add-on. Mandrill is a transactional email API for MailChimp users. It’s reliable, powerful, and ideal for sending data-driven emails, including targeted e-commerce and personalized one-to-one messages.”


Audiense – “Unique consumer insights and engagement, to help you grow.”

Fanpage Karma – “Analyze your profiles – and your competitors. With KPIs, analyses and reports. Monitor your success and increase your social reach every day.”

Chrome Extensions

ColorZilla – “Advanced Eyedropper, Color Picker, Gradient Generator and other colorful goodies.”

Emoji Input – “Allows you to see and input emoji on any website. Can replace Twitter and Gmail style emoji with iPhone style emoji.”

Ctrl + Command + Spacebar – Pull up an emoji keyboard (only for Mac)

Outreach, Engagement and Influencer Marketing

Buzzsumo – “Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. Find the key influencers to promote your content.”

Quora – “Quora is a place where you can ask questions you care about and get answers that are amazing.” – “Sniply adds your custom call-to-action to any page on the web, allowing you to engage your followers through every link you share.”

Ninja Outreach – “Find thousands of influencers & leads instantly in any country. Outreach to them at a fraction of the time and cost!”

BuzzBundle – “Find online conversations about your company, brand or products and engage with your audience.”

Flare – “Flare gets you more shares, social stats and more.”

Traackr – “Say hello to Influencer Relationship Management IRM – It’s Real Marketing. Traackr’s IRM platform is your system of record to manage, expand, validate, and scale your global influencer marketing.”

Onalytica – “We provide software used by the world’s leading marketing and PR professionals. Scale your influence now!”

Famebit – “Influencer marketing platform for branded content.”


Alltop – “All the top headlines from popular topics around the web.”

Medium – “Find and share real perspectives about topics that matter today.”

CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer – “Enter your text to begin headline analysis.”

Grammar, Spelling & Style

Typosaurus – “Check the spelling across your entire website today with TypoSaurus. It’s quick, effective and simple to use.”

Grammarly – “Grammarly makes sure everything you type is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free.”

CapitalizeMyTitle – “Automatically capitalize your email subjects, blog/essay/article titles, and more with the capitalization rules from APA, Chicago, AP, and MLA style guides. Enter a title below to capitalize it.”

Hemingway App – “Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear.”

Best User Acquisition Channels:

  • In Real Life
  • PPC and Remarketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing

Web Design

Balsamiq – “Balsamiq Mockups is a rapid wireframing tool that helps you Work Faster & Smarter. It reproduces the experience of sketching on a whiteboard, but using a computer.”

Research & Testing 

Optimizely X – “Experiment everywhere with the leading Experimentation Platform – across every device, every channel, every customer touchpoint.”

OptinMonster – “Convert visitors into subscribers. Create & A/B test beautiful lead capture forms without a developer.”

Open Site Explorer – “Research backlinks, find link-building opportunities and discover potentially damaging links with Open Site Explorer.”

Bitly – “The link knows all. So can you. Measure your links with Bitly, the world’s leading link management platform.”

Crazy Egg – “Find out by seeing how users click and scroll through your website.”

Hotjar – “All-in-one analytics and feedback. Hotjar is a new and easy way to truly understand your web and mobile site visitors.”

Optimizely – “Let’s personalize digital experiences for your customers. Thousands of companies trust Optimizely to power their experimentation.”

Mixpanel – “Learn how people use your app with the world’s most advanced mobile & web analytics.”

Kissmetrics – “Behavior analytics for driving growth. Track and analyze customer behavior with Kissmetrics to turn more visitors into customers.”

Dashboard and Analytics

VitalStorm Metrics – “Simple lead tracking & reporting.”

Google Analytics – “Google Analytics lets you analyze data from all touchpoints in one place, for a deeper understanding of your customer experience.”

Cyfe – “Cyfe is an all-in-one business dashboard app that helps you easily monitor all your business data from one place. Social media, analytics, marketing, sales, support, infrastructure… monitor everything!”

Segment – “Collect all of your customer data and send it anywhere. Stream data to every marketing integration your team needs.”

Heap – “Heap automates away the annoying parts of user analytics. No manual event tracking. No messy tracking plans. No custom ETL pipelines. Just insights. For everyone on your team.”

SimilarWeb – “Get insights for any website or app.”

User Experience Design (UX)

Ux Myths – “UX Myths collects the most frequent user experience misconceptions and explains why they don’t hold true.”

UX Project Checklist via GitHub

Forms & Surveys

SurveyMonkey – “Make better decisions with the world’s #1 survey platform. Get answers to all your questions.”

WPForms – “The best WordPress contact form plugin. Drag & Drop online form builder that helps you create beautiful contact forms with just a few clicks.”

Wufoo – “Wufoo’s HTML form builder helps you create online web forms. Use our web form creator to power your contact forms, online surveys, and event registrations.”

Bidsketch – “Download This Free Marketing Proposal Template (and Bundle).”

Research & Best Practices:

Google Scholar – “Google Scholar allows you to search across a wide range of academic literature.”

Moz Learning Center – “How to implement local search best practices to drive the maximum number of customers your way.”

Coursera – “Take the world’s best courses, online.”

Udemy – “What course will your life take? Own your future by learning new skills online.”

edX – “Improve your life and improve your career in edX courses.”

Clarity – “Startup advice from world class experts.”

Google Trends – “See the latest trends, data and visualizations from Google. Find out what’s trending near you right now.”

8 Proven Call-To-Action Buttons:

  1. Sign Up
  2. Download Free
  3. Start Your FREE Account
  4. Get Started
  5. Try it now – free
  6. How It Works
  7. Schedule Service
  8. Call Now


Ahrefs – “Track your backlinks, keywords, brand mentions and know what your competitors are doing.”

SEMrush – “SEMrush competitive data for digital marketing professionals.”

Advanced Web Ranking – “Rankings, Analytics, Links, Research and Reports. Everything in one place. No monthly fees. Available on Windows, Mac and Linux.”

Quantcast – “Understand your audience. Find your next customer.”

Copyscape – “Search for copies of your page on the web.”

BrowSEO – “A web app that allows you to view any webpage without distractions caused by styles. It also highlights parts of a page that are relevant for SEO.”

Yoast – “Improve your WordPress SEO: Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using the Yoast SEO plugin.”

SEO Checklist – “The Insanely Powerful 2016 SEO Checklist (Updated)”


Google Keyword Planner – “Get keyword ideas to help build your campaigns with the AdWords Keyword Planner.”

Ubersuggest – “Use Übersuggest to quickly find new keywords not available in the Google Keyword Planner.”

Keyword Tool – “Get 750+ Google Keyword Suggestions For Free”

Long Tail Pro – “Use Long Tail Pro’s step-by-step system to discover thousands of profitable, targeted keywords and calculate Keyword Competitiveness for almost any niche.”


Think with Google – “Google’s source for insights, trends and research in digital marketing. Get creative inspiration, industry intelligence and best practices for your business.”

Learn with Google – “The Google AdWords Channel features videos to teach you how to use AdWords and online marketing to grow your business.”

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 

Nimble – “The #1 rated social sales & marketing CRM.”

Contactually – “Discover the right person and develop genuine personalized communication with Contactually.”

Streak – “CRM, inside Gmail.”

Salesforce – “We’re the innovative company behind the world’s #1 CRM platform that employees can access entirely over the Internet.”


Todoist – “Manage tasks and projects anywhere with Todoist. At home. At school. At work. Online. Offline. And across 10+ platforms.”

Edit Flow – “Edit Flow gives you custom statuses, a calendar, editorial comments, and more, all to make it much easier for your team to collaborate within WordPress.

Momentum – “Replace new tab page with a personal dashboard featuring todo, weather, and inspiration.”

Evernote – “Remember everything.”

Self-Reflective Business Questions for 2017:

  • Why might our customers not like us?
  • How can we become the company that would put us out of business?
  • Have you budgeted enough time and resources for emergencies, complications, and new ideas and experimentation?
  • Do we underestimate our customer’s journey?
  • What do we need to start doing?

2017 Marketing Musts

  • Make sure whatever tools and resources you choose:
  1. Add value
  2. Reduce complexity
  3. Reduce repetition
  • Add a line of Facebook (pixels) and Google retargeting code.
  • Use landing pages for your PPC and remarketing campaigns.
  • Let other people tell your brand story with truth and authenticity. You can’t do everything.
  • Real-time social media engagement.
  • Great mobile UX.
  • Value over volume.
  • Get used to outsourcing your PPC, social media, email marketing, content curation, and other marketing essentials. Contact VitalStorm for a free quote and walkthrough.

Best Practices: 

23 Things to Consider When Creating Video Content

25 best resources that help you learn marketing for free

The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media

Advanced Content Promotion Checklist and Guide

Email Marketing Field Guide

The Ultimate How-to Marketing Guide

45 Best Free Online Marketing Tools

2017 Marketing Predictions

21 Chrome shortcuts you need to know

Copywriter’s Guide

10 Common Website Mistakes

Web Design & Strategy

AdWords Remarketing Campaign Strategy

Search Engine Optimization Tips

Expanded Text Ads (ETA) UPDATE

Reddit Advice – r/marketing, r/seo, r/bigseo, r/askmarketing, r/wordpressr/iosprogramming, r/androiddev, and r/learnprogramming

Check back frequently as we discover new marketing tools and resources in 2017.

Happy New Year from the VitalStorm Family!

If you have any questions about copywriting and digital marketing don’t hesitate to contact us for a free walkthrough of our services.

Call VitalStorm for your free consultation: 1-877-311-5695

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